Friday, July 1, 2011

Honeymoon part 5 - Skagway, Alaska

Okay, first off I want to apologize for the extreme amount of photos in this post. Out of all of our wonderful days on our honeymoon, this one was my favorite. We took over 400 pictures, and I'd say about 300 of them were mountains. Lucky for you guys, I edited it down to about 35.

Our second stop in Alaska was Skagway, a tiny little town that goes from 600 residents in the winter to over 2,000 in the summer. Skagway was such a neat place. So quaint and cute and surrounded by the most beautiful mountains I had ever seen.

 This was what we saw off our balcony when we woke up. That's a train track right next to the ship! And all the paintings on the rocks are captains and ships that have sailed to Skagway, they went back to the 60's!

Our train awaiting us! We took a train ride up to the White Pass summit to the US/Canadian border. We went from sea level to 2,865 feet! I was so excited for this. I LOVE trains. And they have been making this trip since the late 1800's! They even have and occasionally use some of the old passenger cars.

 VERY excited!

Check this dude out! Look at that beard! So authentic.

 We followed this stream up the mountains, although it was eventually thousands of feet below us.

 The scenery at sea level is verrrry different from up top. It's such a dramatic change, just wait for it.

 Already pretty high, that body of water way back there is where our ship was docked and where we started.

Getting snowier! Check out that cloud action, so thick.

The coolest thing about the train ride is that you could stand in between the cars! It was amazing, I spent most of the trip up out there.

We weaved around mountains, that track on the opposite mountain is where we're headed!

Chugging along! I was pretending we were on the Hogwarts express.

 Giddy about mountains!

Up in the clouds!

 We went through two tunnels, it was crazy dark. So surreal that you're going through a mountain, and even crazier that they made this track in 1898!

Even farther away from the water.

Although they stopped using this bridge in the 60's, it is still amazing! It's considered an engineering wonder of the world up with the Eiffel Tower.
Lots of snow, so different from where we started. And how cute is that train?
 At the top, the snow was piled up almost as high as the train.

 At the border. Look at the cabin!

 Frozen lake on the summit of the mountain, so neat. It was the prettiest shade of blue. Apparently it's extremely deep.

 Frozen face! That air felt wonderful though, if I could pick a "last breath" it would be air from these mountains.

To head back, the engine took the track next to ours to move to the back of the train and we headed down the mountain. The seats on the train were on hinges so you just flipped them over to face the other way. Geniuses.

Although it was nice out on the way up, some of the cloud cover burned off so we had an even better view of the mountains on the way down.

We really lucked out with weather, supposedly it had been raining nonstop and the day we were there was one of the first sunny days in weeks. They said that normally you can't see the "teeth" on the top of this mountain. I was so glad we were able to, it was breathtaking.

I ended up dozing off on the way down, it was so relaxing. Not pictured on this wonderful train ride are the moose and bear we saw! We tried to get pictures but we were moving too fast. They were both just standing around (separately of course) watching the train go by. Alaska is wild!

Brendon is trying to perfect the bear look and that lady is judging me.

 Such a cute little town! Skagway, like a lot of towns in Alaska, was originally a gold rush town. I loved the old west vibe. Plus look at the backdrop! AHH! We're moving to Skagway when we retire.

Such a cute pose.

Okay. The views on the ship as we were leaving Skagway were so beautiful, it hurt my heart. No lie, I felt like I might cry constantly. Why do I not live in such a beautiful place?! Views like this were on both sides of our ship.

 It was unbelievably windy at the front of the ship. You couldn't look into it and keep your eyes open!

My hair thoroughly enjoyed the wind.

 That's a town beneath those mountains. I need to live there.

 They're hard to make out, but those things on the rocks are sea lions! Hundreds of them. You could hear them barking. I'm telling you, Alaska is nature at it's finest.

That snakey thing in the middle is a glacier (remember how I love those)! AHHHH. I can't get over it.

 Oh you know, just me dying of happiness. If you ever go on an Alaskan cruise, upgrade to a balcony. It is beyond worth the extra money. We were seeing all this beauty right outside our room. And the sun was so warm we ended up losing the jackets. Also things we didn't get to take a picture of, whales and dolphins everywhere. Swimming next to the ship, blowing water out of their blow holes. So much goodness.

 Evidence of the warmth. Just chillin' out barefoot looking at endless snowy mountain goodness.

 Lighthouse! Although it's electronically controlled now, one man used to live there alone for months at a time. Probably incredibly lonely, but I bet it was an experience of a lifetime.

 Our swan!

Such a wonderful ending to a wonderful day, we were graced with the prettiest sunset. It doesn't get any better than this. I wish I could relive this day over and over! And I've got to give credit where credit is due, Brendon took this picture, and a ton of other awesome ones, with our dslr on manual! We're still very much photography beginners, but he's got some skill.

The last honeymoon post will be coming soon! I know I know, aren't 5 honeymoon posts enough? (No, of course not!)

Yesterday was our two month anniversary! We celebrated by seeing Transformers, taking a looong nap, getting a new video game, and playing it far too late into the night. Are we not the coolest husband and wife team ever? I think so.

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